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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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The act of forgiving an offender, or removing the guilt of sin, that the punishment due to it may not be inflicted. Of the nature of pardon it may be observed, that the Scripture represents it by various phrases: a lifting up, or taking away, Psalms 32:1; a covering of it, Psalms 85:2; a non-imputation of it, Psalms 32:2 . a blotting it out, Psa 43: 25; a non-remembrance of it, Hebrews 8:12 . Is. 43: 25.

1. It is an act of free grace, Psalms 51:1 . Isaiah 43:25 .

2. A point of justice, God having received satisfaction by the blood of Christ, 1 John 1:9 .

3. A complete act, a forgiveness of all the sins of his people, 1 John 1:7 . Psalms 103:2-3 .

4. An act that never will be repealed, Micah 7:19 . The author or cause of pardon is not any creature, angel, or man; but God. Ministers are said to remit sin declaratively, but not authoriatively; that is, they preach and declare that there is remission of sins in Christ; but to pretend to absolve men is the height of blasphemy, 1 Thessalonians 2:4 . Revelation 13:5-6 .

See ABSOLUTION, INDULGENCES. There is nothing that man has, or can do, by which pardon can be procured: wealth cannot buy pardon, Proverbs 11:1-31; Proverbs 12:1-28; Proverbs 13:1-25; Proverbs 14:1-35; Proverbs 15:1-33; Proverbs 16:1-33; Proverbs 17:1-28; Proverbs 18:1-24; Proverbs 19:1-29; Proverbs 20:1-30; Proverbs 21:1-31; Proverbs 22:1-29; Proverbs 23:1-35; Proverbs 24:1-34; Proverbs 25:1-28; Proverbs 26:1-28; Proverbs 27:1-27; Proverbs 28:1-28; Proverbs 29:1-27; Proverbs 30:1-33; Proverbs 31:1-4; human works or righteousness cannot merit it, Romans 11:6; nor can water baptism wash away sin. It is the prerogative of God alone to forgive, Mark 2:7; the first cause of which is his own sovereign grace and mercy, Ephesians 1:7 . The meritorious cause is the blood of Christ, Hebrews 9:14 . 1 John 1:7 . Pardon of sin and justification are considered by some as the same thing: and it must be confessed that there is a close connexion; in many parts they agree, and it is without doubt that every sinner who shall be found pardoned at the great day, will likewise be justified; yet they have been distinguished thus:

1. An innocent person, when falsely accused and acquitted, is justified, but not pardoned; and a criminal may be pardoned, though he cannot be justified or declared innocent. Pardon is of men that are sinners, and who remain such, though pardoned sinners; but justification is a pronouncing persons righteous, as if they had never sinned.

2. Pardon frees from punishment, but does not entitle to everlasting life; but justification does, Romans 5:1-21 : If we were only pardoned, we should, indeed, escape the pains of hell, but could have no claim to the joys of heaven; for these are more than the most perfect works of man could merit; therefore they must be what the Scriptures declare

"the gift of God." After all, however, though these two may be distinguished, yet they cannot be separated; and, in reality, one is not prior to the other; for he that is pardoned by the death of Christ, is at the same time justified by his life, Romans 5:10 . Acts 13:38-39 .

See GRACE, MERCY. Charnock's works, Vol. 2: p. 101; Gill's Body of Div. art. Pardon; Owen on Psalm cxxx; Hervey's Works. vol. 2: p. 352.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Pardon'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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